Ok Falcon Fans, I'm at it again with another mock draft and free agent signing before the NFL combine. This week some teams are expected to apply the dreaded franchise tag. So this will make it interesting for future mocks with knowing who won't be available on the FA market.
Let me first start out with our own FA signings that should take place.
Thomas Decoud - He might not be a popular resigning but I think the Falcons will bring him back. He's young and with experience and might flourish from Nolan's scheme.
Kelvin Hayden - He's young but often injured. If he's able to stay healthy, he can be a valuable signing.
Harry Douglas - He's a player I think wants to leave but won't get the big money he want's. So in this scenario he will eventually will resign.
John Abraham - Abe is still a great pass rusher but he's too old now and is just a situational pass rusher at this point in his career. If he can be resigned at a reduced rate, then I welcome back Abe. If not, I hate to see him leave but adios.
Brent Grimes - The word around town and the web is the Falcons are considering placing the franchise tag on Grimes. This will cost 10.6 million which is too much for one year in my opinion. I think they need to reconsider this thought and let him walk. He'll be 29 by the time training camp starts. Let him walk so the Falcons can get a 3rd Round compensatory pick next year..lol
Ovie Mughelli - This is a hard one for me because he's such a great asset to the running game. Unfortunately he's coming off a major knee injury. The Falcons save 3 million by cutting him. This will be more of a business decision. If he is let go, hopefully they will resign him for a cheaper price.
Sam Baker - The Falcons can't cut him quick enough in my opinion. He hasn't been the LT the Falcons thought he would be when they traded up to get him in the first round which I thought was a mistake as well. They will same 2 million by cutting him
Jonathan Babineaux - This might be another business decision. Babineax has been the best DT on the team for a number of years. Unfortunately he is set to make 5.7 million this year. He'll be 31 in October and would save the Falcons 4 million by releasing him.
Free Agent Signings:
Jeremy Zuttah - A young Guard with a mean streak. Might not cost much to sign because of how poorly the Bucs line played this season. Zuttah wasn't the problem on the line.
Anthony Collins - A young LT who has been a part time starter. He could be a value pick as well if given the chance to be the full time starter.
Samson Satele - A young C with experience and toughness. He's not on the radar for many teams and could be a steal to sign if we can get him a decent price. He could be the center for years to come.
These signings will solidify the O-line again and make it younger. It will also bring a mean streak to the O-line.And the Falcons wouldn't have to use a draft pick this year on a O-linemen.
Jeremy Mincey - A DE from Jacksonville who racked up 8 sacks last year. That's remarkable considering it was for the Jags. He's 28 and shouldn't cost an arm and a leg to sign him like it would to sign Mario Williams.
Brandon Carr - I keep rooting for this signing. It might be more realistic since the Chiefs have signed CB Stanford Route to a 3yr/19.6 million deal. I don't think they will want to sign Carr now to a long term deal. He's only 26 and it makes it possible for the Falcons to release Dunta Robinson next year if his play doesn't improve.
Channing Crowder - He has a reputation for being a loud mouth but he has been a productive LB when he's been on the field. He's been out of football for a year and wants to make a comeback with the Falcons. If he can be signed at reasonable price, then it would be a good signing. He has played OLB before and could step in as a SLB.
2nd Round -Trumaine Johnson - He's a 6'2, 210lb CB - Montana - For me it's been a toss up between Johnson and Josh Norman. Johnson is a big corner and has played a lot of off coverage at Montana. Johnson has fluid hips and good change direction. He doesn't have elite speed but is able to recover if beaten with his long strides.
3rd Round - Ladarius Green - 6'6, 236lb TE - Louisiana Lafayette - Just like everyone else, I am hoping the Falcons draft Green. He a great pass catching TE who will bulk up at the next level. He also will improve his blocking skills with the right coaching. He will be a nightmare for opposing Safeties and LB's over the middle of the field. He will also be a great threat in the Red Zone.
4th Round(Compensatory) - Akiem Hicks - 6'5, 325lb DT - Ok. I have to admit that I never heard of Hicks until I started reading other mock draft from fellow Falcon fans. After watching the highlights, I became a huge fan. He is big, strong, a mobile. He has the ability to rush the passer and be a good run stopper. Hicks would be a great pick. Just like Green, it's hard to have a mock draft and not have him in it.
5th Round - Chris Rainey - 5'8, 178lb RB - Rainey is definitely undersized, but he's a play maker. He has tremendous speed and will be a weapon at the next level. I need to remind people of how undersized Desean Jackson was coming out of Cal and look where his undersized career is now.
6th Round - Demario Davis - 6'3, 230lb LB - Davis is an athletic LB who explodes to the ball. He is very good in run support and pass coverage and is a sure tackler. He can play ILB or OLB
7th Round - Eddie Whitley - 6'1, 195lb FS - Whitley had a very successful career at VT. He was the full time starter for the past two seasons. He patrolled the middle of the field well. His speed allow his to be the rover on the field. He could provide depth at the safety position.
There you have it Falcon fans. Thanks for reading the post and I promise next time it will not be this long. Ready to hear your thoughts.